Refried Bean Burritos (for 4 people)

Ingredients for the burritos:

  • 1 can of refried beans (or powdered refried beans from Famous Foods)
  • 1 packet of spice mix (1 tsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp oregano)
  • 8 oz. of grated cheese, such as Monterey Jack or White Cheddar
  • 1 or 2 avocados, sliced or smashed up a bit
  • Shredded lettuce or cabbage (lettuce on a short trip, cabbage on a long one)
  • A package of 8 flour or corn tortillas (check the expiry date!!)
  • Light oil such as corn or canola for heating the refried beans

Ingredients for the rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • Salt the water or if you are on the ocean you can use part salt water for cooking

Ingredients for the Fresca Salsa:

  • Diced tomatoes (a packet of small tomatoes such as Campari or grape tomatoes are easy to transport and very flavourful)
  • Diced onion (can be red, white or yellow, you decide how much but at least ½ of a decent sized one)
  • Minced garlic (1 or 2, to taste)
  • 1 minced Jalapeno pepper, seeds and white pith removed
  • Juice from one decent sized lime or two small ones
  • A handful of chopped cilantro

At home:

Prepare the spice mix for the burritos at home. I like to wrap them up in some waxed paper but saran wrap or any kind of paper will do as long as the wrapping is secure. Put them in a ziplock bag with the rice, the garlic cloves and the recipe for the 3 components of the dinner.

In camp:

Start the basmati rice to boil on a low setting on your cook stove.
Rice requires some watching but if you follow this advice you can have very lovely rice every time. Never take off the lid until it’s cooked (I know everybody knows that but this is camping, right?). As soon as it’s sending out a big plume of steam, take it off the stove and wait about a minute and put it back on. Repeat as necessary for 15 minutes. This isn’t a hard thing to do, it just takes a glance every couple of minutes while you’re chopping. No big deal. Leave the stove going while the rice pot is off and put it back on when it’s stopped steaming. After 15 minutes, take it off the burner and wait for 5 minutes and fluff the rice or if you’re too busy chopping, don’t bother. Wait until it’s serving time and fluff it then.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the burritos and the accompaniments: Add some oil to a frying pan, heat the contents of the can of refried beans (or, if you have used dehydrated refried beans, make sure you have rehydrated them in a ziplock as per the instructions on the package). While it’s cooking, you may need to add some water to get it to the consistency that you want.

Meanwhile, prepare the salsa: In a bowl, dice the tomatoes, onion, garlic, Jalapeno and mince the cilantro on top. Cut the lime in half and use a fork as a reamer to get the juice out. Remind yourself that it’s not a perfect world, this isn’t your kitchen and you still have to grate the cheese and if you are fast you can heat up the burritos (no pressure of course).

Grate the cheese using the coarse holes. You may not want to grate the entire block of chesse. I have found it’s difficult to find smaller pieces to buy and on a trip you’ll just eat the leftovers anyway. Just grate as much as you think you need for dinner and rewrap the rest for lunch.

Slice or mash the avocados. Let everyone assemble their own burritos, two per person.


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